Time for a dog-cation

As a nation of pet lovers, 24% of the UK adult population have a dog with an estimated 8.9 million pet dogs being part of the family.

This tells us what we already knew – dogs really are man’s best friend so it’s little wonder that we don’t want to holiday without them. And it wouldn’t just be the dogs pining. According to recent research, 85% of dog owners would rather staycation than go abroad without their mutt-mate. 

Pinterest also recently revealed that searches for dog-friendly holidays are up 146% – proof that time away from our precious pups isn’t a true holiday at all. Every dog owner knows the guilt of leaving your dog at home alone for a few hours, let alone for a week or more.  In response, there are more dog-friendly hotels than ever before.  And they don’t just stop at offering dog bowls outside the front door or being located at the heart of fabulous dog-walking countryside. Some go as far as providing special doggy beds, homemade snacks and even special doggy playrooms. Others even have pooch room-service menus and spa treatments for the most pampered canine guests. 

A wag-tastic weekend away

So as Autumn arrives, why not treat your loved one (and your spouse or partner!) to a mini break fit for a King Charles Spaniel? And with prices from around £10 per night, a five star country manor house is not much more than a night in boarding kennels so there’s no reason to leave your furry friend behind.

Pamper your pooch at these top 5 dog-friendly hotels around the North-West offering pup-rooms, menus and beer (yes beer!), dog grooming and reiki plus wonderful walkies…

The Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales

Dogs have their very own lounge – humans are free to use it too – at this pet-friendly hotel near Bolton Abbey. On arrival, your pampered pooch will be presented with a doggy bed, water bowl and a selection of tasty treats. There’s a river walk to Bolton Abbey and a dog-friendly beach nearby. A charge of £10 per pooch applies.

Cholmondeley Arms, Chester, Cheshire

This former Victorian schoolhouse-turned-inn is has a glorious carved oak bar and is a paradise for beer, gin and dog enthusiasts alike. From their own Cholmondeley Best Bitter and Merlin’s Gold, there are a staggering 400 varieties of ruinously good gins to discover. Your faithful friend will not go thirsty either, as dog beer (made from meat stock) is readily available. Three of the rooms in the old headmaster’s house behind the inn are dog-friendly, at a charge of £10 extra per night.

George and Dragon, Lake District, Cumbria

This gastropub on the northern edge of the Lake District has a well-deserved reputation for its excellent, locally-sourced food. But it’s your pet’s welcome pack that steals the show – it includes a toy, treats, bowl, blanket and map of local walks covering Ullswater, Derwentwater, Keswick and Penrith which are all nearby. They can roam where they like, apart from the dining room. But, as it’s the same menu in the bar, you don’t have to be parted from your pooch even at dinner time. A charge of £10 per stay applies.

The Lawrence Hotel, Padiham, Lancashire

Taking dog-friendly to the next level, The Lawrence Hotel is one of the UK’s best dog and human retreats. There’s pup-icures and pawsecco, and a grooming package – the hotel claims to transform dog-eared dogs from “ruff to ravishing” during your stay. Because they’re worth it…

Broadoaks, Country House, Windermere, Lake District

Two and four-legged visitors are drawn to the breath-taking walks surrounding this hotel which recognises that dogs are important guests too.  Broadoaks’ resident pooch has taste-tested a full menu for visiting dogs, featuring the likes of organic venison and wild boar and chicken and turkey casserole from the in-house 4 Paws menu. Dogs are welcomed with open arms here including a pack of treats on arrival, and the £25 per night DDBB (Dinner, Doggie, Bed & Breakfast) package covers everything they’ll need throughout your stay in one of the five dog-friendly rooms.

If you decide to visit at Christmas, all dogs staying here receive a gift hamper of favourite festive treats from Flo the Cavapoo.

So why not pack up your wellies, waterproofs, walking boots and wagging pooch for some human and doggy pampering?  There’s something to suit every owner and every faithful four-legged friend – because a holiday’s not not really a holiday if your canine companion can’t come, right?